Resurrecting an old ThinkPad

There are a few computer/network things I’m interested in doing at home that would benefit from a PC that’s always on (or at least “usually on”). I haven’t had a desktop machine in a few years (my oldest child took the last one to college for gaming), we now just have a bunch of laptops (my partner and I each have both a personal and employer-owned machine). These are often hibernating/shut down/away from home, so none of them would work for the things I have in mind.

Most folks in my position would use something like a Raspberry Pi for the tasks I have in mind. With their low power-consumption, they make a great choice. But I already have an old Lenovo ThinkPad stashed away, which I stopped using because its battery is completely dead. While not having a battery is pretty obnoxious for a laptop, it’s fine for a “server”.

I wrote before about the advantages of using old computers even when newer, lower-power, faster options are available

(Although most people interested in “old computers” are reaching further back than 2010.)

A real plus is knowing that if any friend has a sudden need for a usable-but-older machine, I could just hand over this one in working (but battery-less) condition. If I’ve lived this long without any of the services that will eventually be providing, none of them are truly mission-critical, right?

Whenever I set up a new machine, I keep a log of all the changes I make to it — at least for the first few weeks (stopping once I’m finally convinced that things are stable by default). I realized that there was a tiny chance that something I do might be useful for somebody else, so I decided to host the log here on; I’ll try to keep it up-to-date.

Old ThinkPad upates